The Importance of Qualifying Real Estate Leads
The real estate industry is unpredictable. It’s an exciting characteristic that many young and aspiring brokers can expect and that many seasoned agents have grown accustomed to. It’s given that a dull day simply does not exist in this industry, and no two transactions are ever the same. Because brokers interact with different clients on a daily basis, opportunities abound as well. However, not all these opportunities eventually lead to sales. Those who have been in the industry long enough know that deals can fizzle out regularly – and easily.
Not all real estate deals go as smoothly as brokers hope. Brokers are encouraged to move on quickly whenever a deal falls through, but there is one equally important adjustment to make en route better business. This is through qualifying real estate leads.
In an age where leads can come from several channels – online and offline – the real estate industry has never seemed so optimistic. It’s an exciting time to be in the business, but this also reinforces the importance of qualifying leads.
What exactly is a qualified lead?
Qualifying is a process that allows brokers to determine whether their lead is serious about finding a property or just another window shopper. Leads, until qualified, are just potential clients. By not qualifying a lead, a broker may be wasting time on someone who does not seriously intend to purchase or rent out a property. Qualified leads are clients worth pursuing because of the greater opportunity to close deals.
Commitment plays a big role in a real estate transaction, both on the side of a broker and a buyer. While some real estate brokers go for quantity over quality, working with an unqualified buyer could backfire on a deal. The reason is simple: qualified buyers are more intentional. Aside from being surer of their motivations for searching for a property, they are also more likely to be financially capable of buying.
Why should brokers spend months with a large volume of buyers who may not be committed to purchasing a home when a few qualified ones can deliver results faster? It’s important to remember that by focusing on higher quality clients, higher quality service is required. The investment will always prove worthwhile as these clients are the people who will lead to referrals in the future.
How should leads be qualified?
There are several traits to look for in a qualified client, and the way to do it is simple. Brokers need to take the time to sit down with every prospect to discuss their goals and motivations for searching for a property.
Establishing a lead’s ability to buy is the bare minimum for qualification. This initial meeting is about determining whether a client is a good fit for the broker and that the broker is an equally good fit for the client. Both parties should look for a certain synergy – an effortless connection – that helps the process run smoothly and with the least amount of complications once they begin working together.
Many agents like to qualify further before they spend any more time with the prospect. A deeper level of qualifying is to determine just how sure they are of what they want. Ask about the type of home the client is looking for, the amount they’re willing to shell out for a property, and the neighborhood environment they are eyeing.
Lastly, and most importantly, it’s important to work only with a client who respects brokers. Real estate brokers have the opportunity to educate their clients on the next steps to take and to shield them from potentially shady sellers. It’s vital for brokers to work only with buyers who genuinely respect them and value their roles.
Clients who are willing to engage in an open, honest conversation about their needs and ready to commit to working with a broker are the types of leads that can be qualified as clients.